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World Cup 2014: Chile must win mental battle first

World Cup 2014: Chile must win mental battle first

Posted by Dubraswka Aguilar on June 28, 2014

Brazil? Not again!

Those were the words that entered the minds and left the lips of Chileans all over the world as the draw for the World Cup group stages were made in December. Instead of focusing on the size of the task facing the national team to get out of the real ‘Group of Death’, the entire nation was already preoccupied with the possibility of facing Brazil in the last 16 again – for the third World Cup in a row.

In 1998 Chile qualified second in their group behind Italy, with three draws enough to see them through. They then faced a Brazil team who were the pre-tournament favourites, and were comfortably beaten 4-1.

Four years ago in South Africa, La Roja finished second behind Spain and once again found themselves up against Brazil in the last 16, again losing by a three-goal margin, 3-0 this time.

Chilean journalist Patricio Vasquez summed up the mood of every Chilean going into the game against Brazil. “You are born, you grow, you reproduce, you die. That is the cycle, even if we do not want it, we are all destined to live. If you extrapolate this cycle to the history of our Chilean team it would be more or less like this: you play qualifiers, you qualify, you get past the group stage, you get eliminated by Brazil.”

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